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Join Drew Hannush as he explores the rich history, stories, myths, and legends that surround our favorite spirit. From the ghosts of the Scottish Highlands, to bourbon legends like Colonel E.H. Taylor, to popular myths around how we taste and experience whisk(e)y - Drew is on a mission to help enrich your whiskey experience by finding the stories that hide behind the labels.
 
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show series
 
Join me as I chat with Kings County Distillery co-founder Colin Spoelman, the author of a curious and entertaining whiskey history book called Dead Distillers. Here is your chance to enjoy a chat between two big whiskey history fans - one an author and the other a podcaster. We'll talk about the origins of New York distilling, how Colin started his…
 
When you start planning your trip to bourbon country, you will have a lot of unique choices of distillery experiences. One of the most unique is Neeley Family Distillery. Listen as I chat with an 11th generation distiller with roots back to Ireland and through Pennsylvania. Distillery Royce Neeley will tell us his family's journey to the new world,…
 
Continuing my journey through the Mississippi Delta, I made a couple of stops including Rosedale, mentioned in Robert Johnson's Traveling Riverside Blues, and Dockery's Plantation. My final stop was to be the final resting spot of Robert Johnson, but a surprise awaited me - and it would lead to a voice with first hand experience at partying at the …
 
Join me as I go on a hunt for juke joints in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way I'll taste a hamburger fried in 100 year old grease. I'll talk about the Father of the Blues and the Home of the Blues. I'll search for Robert Johnson's home in the Delta. I'll spend some time relating some of the great information I learned from Roger Stolle and his …
 
What a fascinating human being. Robert Johnson didn't live a long life, but he lived a full one for his years. Amazingly, researchers have retraced a large portion of his life and books released in the last 2 years have shown a bright light on who Robert the man was, rather than the legend. In this episode, I will tell the story of that man. From t…
 
A lot has been written about Robert Johnson, the legendary blues guitarist of the 1920's and 30's - much of it is based on half truths and legends. One of his most known legends is based in the story of the crossroads when he was said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar genius. But Robert faced more than one crossroad in h…
 
It's always great to chat with someone who love to share information about their town. Jimmy Rout (Shelby County Historian) had a chance to see the rebirth of Beale Street in Memphis and he is going to take us around the town that was and the town that now is. We'll hear about W.C. Handy, Boss Crump, and even Old Hickory makes an appearance in a ta…
 
Back in October, Lindsay reached out to me on behalf of B.R. Distilling Company. She mentioned that they had just won 5 gold medals at the 2020 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and wondered if I wanted to chat with their CEO McCauley Williams about their Blue Note Juke Joint Bourbon and Riverset Rye. Always looking for a tie into history and being a music…
 
Steve and I continue our discussion of George Washington's distiller James Anderson and I get a chance to taste two of the rye whiskies made on-site using 18th century methods. We also talk about researching whiskey history and whether it is better to stick to traditions or evolve. And I'll also tell you how, as a Whiskey Lore Society member, you c…
 
Enjoy my conversation with Steve Bashore, Director of Historic Trades at George Washington's Mount Vernon, Distillery and Gristmill. In this interview, we walk around the distillery and Steve talks about recreating an 18th century distillery, George Washington and James Anderson, and the use of Mount Vernon's crops. He also walks me through the pro…
 
The story of James Anderson and his journey to becoming George Washington's distiller is a fascinating one. It starts simply enough on a farm in Inverkeithing, Scotland. But circumstances around him dictate his future and he suddenly finds himself bringing his wife and seven children to a new world. Listen to the story of a Scottish farmers journey…
 
How did George Washington go from dealing with the whiskey rebellion to opening his own distillery? Well, I went to Mount Vernon to find out the answer to that question and ended up learning so much more. Join me as I talk with Jim and Jeanette about Washington's management style, his distiller and distillery, and some of the myths that surround hi…
 
The Battle of Bower Hill woke up Philadelphia and created quite a stir in President Washington's cabinet. It would result in George Washington and Alexander Hamilton taking a trip towards Western Pennsylvania and militia men being summons across four states. So what happened to David Bradford and the rebels? And what happened with the dreaded whisk…
 
Join me as I chat with Will about this historic Lowland Scotch Whisky that has seen mothballing several times in its history. Recently it was purchased by Australian David Prior and Dr. Nick Savage has joined as master distiller (after his time at Macallan). We'll talk about that transition and I'll get to taste a couple of their expressions - Blad…
 
A surprise Burns Night interview here on Whiskey Lore. I had hoped to do an episode around the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns, but the Whiskey Rebellion kinda took over (as rebellions will). But in honor of a poet with a passion for all things Scottish, I was approached by a whiskey distiller whose namesake's were poets with a passion for the land. Li…
 
If you thought it was odd for Robert Wilson to go through torture to live out life as a spy, wait until you hear the comedy of errors that is George Clymer. If Hamilton wanted a war, he was making a pretty good show of it. And the episode ends with an epic battle that would forever be a symbol for the violence that took place in Western Pennsylvani…
 
So what had the farmers of Western Pennsylvania all up in arms? In this episode, I'll take a look at the law that fired up the insurrectionists and I'll give you a view of what 1791 Pittsburgh looked like and talk about one of it's most respected citizens - General John Neville. It wouldn't take long from Neville to go from hero to the object of sc…
 
When you think of the Whiskey Rebellion, what comes to mind? Farmers not wanting to pay taxes? Alexander Hamilton goading President Washington into putting down an insurrection? Washington on horseback leading an army into Western Pennsylvania. What if I told you that most of these assumptions are wrong? In part one of a series on the Whiskey Rebel…
 
I mean it when I say, I think she should be up for Time's "Person of the Year." Fawn Weaver has done more than just build a whiskey brand - she is going beyond talking about finding solutions and is actually doing something to make the world a better place. And it isn't about putting a whiskey in your hand. Although that has its place. She found he…
 
Having not traveled to Virginia City before (I got close, as you will hear), I needed a local to give me the history and the feel of the place. After reaching out to the city, I was put in touch with Ron Gallagher, whose grandfather worked as a janitor at the Fourth Ward School back in the 1860s during the boom. Ron saw Virginia City turn from a gh…
 
Originally known as Frey Ranch Estate Distillery, this is one of a few distilleries in the world that source all of their grains from their own land. Think Kilchoman in Scotland or Waterford in Ireland. Now, to a new distiller with a new farm, that might not be such an advantage, but imagine having a 160+ year history of farm/ranch ownership. Colby…
 
Mark Twain moves on and an initial silver rush in Virginia City fades. Frustrated financiers look for a way to off-load their investments just before the Comstock yield's its greatest bounty. Meanwhile, two men - John Piper and William Brown find their own fortunes by serving up drinks, food, and entertainment to miners and money men alike. Join Dr…
 
Join me as I talk with one half of the brother team that returned their great, great, great grandfather's distillery to prominence. Andy Nelson is the Head Distiller at Nelson's Green Brier Distillery and this is the story of how they overcame money issues, youth, inexperience, a recession, and an old Tennessee Prohibition on distilling to get thei…
 
From New York fashion photographer to starting a whiskey distillery in Colorado - quite the road for Michael Myers of Colorado Springs based 291 Distillery. We'll hear how he started as a one-man show, learned his craft, and as a tie into our Virginia City "Old West" episodes, we'll talk about his love for western movies. And we'll find out how a W…
 
The Al Young interview is likely my most treasured interview. It spoke to the very reason I started Whiskey Lore, to capture stories while the storytellers were still here to tell them. Little did I know that one month after our interview, Al Young would pass away at Christmas 2019. It's been just about a year since his passing and one thing I have…
 
It was interesting listening back to this interview. It happened just over a year ago. How the world has changed. But Wally Dant and his family are still moving forward with Log Still Distillery and making great progress. In fact, they've released the name of their new gin and bourbon which I will mention in the episode. While there are moments of …
 
Steve Beam is the President and distiller at Limestone Branch and loves history. In this episode, he helps us understand the family tree of Dants and Beams as well as telling us about his journey into distilling. The Charles Townsend Yellowstone story T.J. Pottinger, Captain Sam, and Walnut Hill Lost history and hauntings The Dants, the Burch, and …
 
This bonus episode is the first of a series of podcasts hosted by Drew Hannush of Whiskey Lore and Chris Wimmer of Black Barrel Media and the Legends of the Old West podcast. In part one, we look at the history of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode, including the namesakes for both. Chris also tells the story of a young writer named Samuel Clemens…
 
Drew sits down with Jim Shannon and Mike "Big Chief" Hiatt at Mike's home in Kentucky and discusses how the Whiskey Lore podcast came to be and we also find out Drew's top 3 recommended distillery tours in Kentucky (hint, one is not on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail). We also taste Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch and Angel's Envy Cask Strength …
 
The story of Jack Daniel and Nathan "Uncle Nearest" Green could have been something much different - but in the hands of Fawn Weaver, she looked past headlines and social media to find the story behind the story. And her findings have led her to build a foundation in Nearest's name, a distillery in his honor, and it also brought her and the Jack Da…
 
In 2016, Best Selling Author Fawn Weaver was in Singapore with her movie executive husband, when a New York Times International article caught her attention. Was it possible that in an industry known for its Scots-Irish roots, actually had its biggest selling whisky taught to its founder by a slave? But the accompanying photo told a different story…
 
Take a trip with me to both sides of the Atlantic for more of my favorite stories from Scotland, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Joining me this week are Wally Dant of Log Still Distillery, Richard Paterson of Whyte & McKay, Andrew McKenzie-Smith of Lindores Abbey, Andy Nelson of Nelson's Green Brier, Fawn Weaver of Uncle Nearest, and Duncan Bryden who sh…
 
What a joy it has been, interviewing some marvelous whiskey people this year. But not all of the content was able to make it into episodes. So in this episode, I'll feature some of my favorite stories from people like Al Young of Four Roses, Nelson Eddy of Jack Daniel's, Andy Nelson of Nelson's Green Brier, Elizabeth Pearce of the Drink and Learn p…
 
What does a microscopic North American aphid have to do with scotch and Texas whisk(e)y? Quite it bit it seems. And a man name T.V. Munson is the common denominator. From his home in Denison, Texas, Thomas Volney Munson was summoned to save the Cognac region of France from a vine damaging insect called Phylloxera. And his work would inspire two bro…
 
Take a journey on the Helena Sloman, a ship en-route from Hamburg, Germany to New York City, carrying the hopes and dreams of John Phillip Nelson, a candle and soap maker who sold everything to give his family a wonderful new life in America. Join me to hear an immigrant's story and how it lead to the most successful Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey of …
 
It is amazing how much the real estate market of 2008 and the scotch whisky industry of the 1890s have in common. Rampant speculation, inflated prices, and so many people caught up in the action that they couldn't see the coming disaster. And at the center of the whole affair were two brothers who had taken over their father's dairy business, turni…
 
Whiskey loves its firsts. From the first person to char a barrel for aging, to the first mention of whisky in the exchequer rolls, there seems an obsession with finding out where things started. And they are usually positive subjects. But what about something like Prohibition? Which was the first state to go dry? That question raised its head when …
 
Have you ever had an occasion not to order or talk about a particular whisky, simply because you were a little concerned about your ability to pronounce it? In this episode, I'll help you get over your fear of mispronouncing scotch whisky names by showing you some simple examples and helping you understand the origins of these names. It will all le…
 
During my interview with Lori Carcich, the founder of Country Smooth whiskey, she brought to my attention a detail about women in the whiskey industry that took me totally by surprise. In this episode, I'll look at some of the pioneering women of whiskey like Helen and Elisabeth Cumming, Catherine Carpenter, Dr. Rachel Barrie, and I'll begin my sea…
 
After Dr. Crow and Oscar Pepper passed away, the history of Old Crow would take a dramatic turn. James E. Pepper would be the new generation taking over the old distillery, but Old Crow would move on, with a little help from Colonel E.H. Taylor. In this episode, I'll take a look at 130 legendary years that followed this tumultuous period. And I'll …
 
Amazing, for all of the people who talk about him in the bourbon industry, Dr. James C. Crow's life is somewhat of a mystery. Born in Inverness, Scotland in 1789, he moved to America and landed in Kentucky. When people say his name, they usually talk about two things, his work with the sour mash process and his Old Crow whiskey. But his influence o…
 
Last week we looked at the growth of one of the biggest bourbon making areas in Kentucky - an area that at its peak had nine distilleries, but at the turn of the century had just about forgotten its whiskey past. Join me this week as we examine the area's downfall, the Kentucky Whiskey Trust, the families as they faded away, and the future of New H…
 
One of the great centers of the bourbon industry in the late 1800's started with humble beginnings in the deep woods of Kentucky near present day Pottinger's Creek. But drive around the area today and you would hardly know that this place was once the home of upwards of nine distilleries - selling whiskey from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco…
 
I've heard people defending why you should spell whisk[e]y with an "e" and without an "e" - but I haven't heard anyone give me a good explanation of where these two spellings originated or why each has found its own hooks in certain countries. So in this episode, I'll take a look at the origins of the word and see if we can determine the best way t…
 
This week I look at two mysterious tragedies in the history of scotch whisky. One takes place at the Laphroaig Distillery on Islay and the other at Glenturret Distillery. I also provide details about several steps in the process of making scotch whisky. Join me and Lucy Armstrong, Development Manager and unofficial historian for Glenturret Distille…
 
In this week's episode, I investigate a couple of legends built around whiskey barrels, distillery cats, bourbon, and scotch whisky. I also head to Glenturret Distillery in Perthshire, Scotland to ask questions about the most famous and prolific distillery cat of them all, Towser. I'll also unveil the background on the name of the whisky Monkey Sho…
 
This week, we look at New Orleans and Bourbon Street as a potential source for the name of "bourbon" whiskey. We'll cover the theories that suggest this famous street's influence on bourbon's name and unveil a secret about Bourbon Street that most people are not aware of. Elizabeth Pearce of the Drink and Learn podcast joins me as we dig into the o…
 
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